Developer: PARA9

Price: $3.99
Version: 1.1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
User Interface Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★★
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

There’s a fair number of music rhythm games on the iPhone. One of the more unique takes on the genre is muBlip, the cool rhythm game from Para9. By introducing novel touch controls and a club-inspired soundtrack, muBlip makes for a memorable experience.

When I play a game, I generally start by trying to classify it akin to other games. With muBlip, that’s difficult, a testament to its design. It’s a rhythm game, for sure, and reminiscent of rock-n-roll games like Guitar Hero or Tap Tap Revenge; but it also reminded me a bit of the sound-and-colors game Auditorium, as well as Bit.Trip Beat (a WiiWare game that is under development for the iPhone). Reminiscent of, but certainly not like.

As in all rhythm games, the basic goal of muBlip is to play along with the beat. In this case, the music is a synth-infused club electronica sort of soundtrack, and to “play along” means more than just tapping buttons. This is muBlip’s secret, and the reason it is so much fun. There are no five fixed buttons, but patterns of geometric shapes that change from song to song and screen to screen. And you don’t just tap; you tap, slide, move, or hold depending upon the beat, sometimes using both thumbs at the same time. It’s more complex, which makes it much more enjoyable.

You’re scored based on both timing and accuracy, and trust me when I say that you will not get a perfect score the first time through. The music is generally fast-paced, which means good reflexes are required. And since you need both thumbs to play, there’s also a fair level of dexterity involved — otherwise you’ll end up, like me, tripping over your own digits. [In my defense, I have big thumbs.]

I only have two real complaints about muBlip. One is a touch control issue. Occasionally, there seemed to be a disconnect between my touches and the game’s recognition. Touches that seemed to be timed right did not register, or touches that seemed to be in the right place failed to score. Timing and accuracy are both part of the game, so I cannot discount that at least in some instances I was simply off; but on a couple of occasions the flaw seemed technical, not user-oriented.

The other is the length of the game. There’s only thirteen tracks here, most ranging from 90 seconds to 3 minutes. Thus, you’ll experience all of the game’s offerings in about a half an hour. While there’s a lot of replay value in trying to up your accuracy score, it still feels like a short game.

Short or not, muBlip is a game worth experiencing. It’s a music rhythm game with a fresh spin and some neat music, and I thoroughly enjoyed playing it.

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